Twenty One

Mysterious Moon.

Twenty One.

I’ll discuss that in a minute. But, first, let’s talk about the moon picture. It’s moody and mysterious. It’s probably better used as a Halloween picture. I made it yesterday. I wanted to show it to you today. I still have no idea what’s causing the reddish glow. Sunset is way over beyond the far right of this picture. There is really nothing to reflect that reddish light. Maybe the swamp is on fire. Or, the river. I’m pretty much looking towards the Mississippi River from this location.


The coolest thing about this picture is opening it up and staring into it. It appears to be translucent and layered. The trees seem to be way in a separate foreground. The moon is floating off somewhere way in the distance. I discovered that while I was working on it in post production.

I made the picture a few steps away from home. I mention this because a number of you still think you need to travel to take a picture. You don’t. You are better off making pictures around home. Practicing. Practicing. Practicing. When you do travel, your pictures will be so much the better.

That’s the picture.

Twenty One.

That’s the number of shootings in New Orleans this past week. Of those, eight people died. This, combined with the killings of 17 young students in Florida and you have a pretty violent week. I have no idea what happened in the rest of the country. I’m pretty sure that Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore where pretty competitive with us in New Orleans. The list is longer than that. Bang, bang, bang. In too many places.

Before I write more, let me say this about that. Nixon used that phrasing. Heh.

I’m pretty much in the middle of the road politically. I’m a registered independent. As they used to say, I vote for the person, not the party.” I’m not particularly anti-this-or-that. I think that the federal government should stay out of certain things, not making those things legal or illegal. I think they should take care of us in ways that no smaller entity can.

You know where this is headed.


I know the arguments, both pro and con. And, I don’t care about them.

What I know is that there are too many guns. Everywhere. I have no idea why any civilian needs an AR-15. I feel about them just about the same way I feel about people holding the shutter button down on a camera, hoping to “get” a good picture. Spray and pray never works. The difference — and it’s a big one — is that with a semi-automatic weapon you can hurt a whole lot of people in a couple of minutes. But, that’s just one aspect. There are guns everywhere.

The ONLY reason that there are guns everywhere is money. People all up and down the line make a whole lot of money on guns, bullets and accessories. The people screaming about 2nd Amendment gun rights, don’t have a clue. They are at the bottom of a long cash chain. And, they are spending their cash.  Making everybody up the line rich. Very rich.

Break the chain, and the problem starts to wither. Death by gun starts to slow down. Not having a weapon that fires lethal projections from any distance changes the violent dynamics. There’s no argument. It just does.

If there’s not a gun in your hand you won’t pull the trigger. You won’t, in a moment of anger, shoot somebody. You might get into a physical thing. You might yell and scream at each other, but you’ll both be alive in the end.


Am I a flaming anti-gun liberal? No. I already told you that I wasn’t. I’m just appalled at so much needless violent death. I’d like to see everybody’s children grow up. I’d like to see people not be afraid to go to school, to a concert, to a Mardi Gras parade. I’d like to see people walk the city streets — my city streets — and not have to look over their shoulder. And, not practice “situational awareness.”  That phrase is for people who are in combat. Not for people outside watching a Mardi Gras parade and raising their hands for beads.

I know what I think and what I’m going to do. You can decide for yourself.


There are three student strikes planned over the next couple of months. Some are short. One is very long. Support them. They may be the only people who can lead us out of our violent ways.

I suggest this.

Clear the way for them. Have their backs. But stand aside and let them do what they must. Big changes are often led by young people. Let them lead.


Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

2 thoughts on “Twenty One

  1. Hallelujah! (I just felt like shouting that.) The young folks will lead, indeed. They are up in arms now (pun intended) and will make the world the better for it. Thanks for the wisdom of your words; I like it when you “say this about that”.


    1. It happened once before. It seems that it takes the passion of youth to make important changes. Thank you, but I’m not sure how wise I am. I’m just tired of this stuff, I’m tired of young people dying for just being there. I’m tired of having to look over my shoulder in my city. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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